Former Goldman Sachs banker Elias Preko was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison by a London court on Monday for laundering $5m on behalf of James Ibori, the former governor of Nigeria's oil-producing state of Delta.
Reuters reports that Ibori is serving 13 years in a British jail after pleading guilty last year to 10 counts of fraud and money-laundering. He is the most senior Nigerian politician to be held to account for the corruption that has blighted Africa's most populous country and top oil producer, where the case is being closely watched.
Harvard graduate Preko, 54, became the fifth of Ibori's associates to be jailed for assisting his corruption after the ex-governor's wife, mistress, sister and lawyer were all convicted by British courts in previous trials.
The cases have been tried in London because some of the money was laundered in Britain and some of the defendants were based there. Attempts by Nigeria's own anti-corruption agency to prosecute Ibori, dating back to 2007, have foundered.
A jury at London's Southwark Crown Court unanimously convicted Preko, a Ghanaian national, of two offences of money-laundering between March 2003 and April 2008 when he was arrested.
Preko had left Goldman Sachs before he committed the offences and the bank is not accused of any wrongdoing.
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